History is one of our ‘lead’ curriculum subjects (along with Geography). Each term, children are taught a History unit which lasts approximately 6 weeks. Cross-curricular links are made when appropriate, for example – through opportunities for writing, Art and Design and Technology.
The History units are always based around a Learning Challenge Question. The overarching question is then broken down in to a series of supplementary questions which lead investigation in each lesson.
Children are introduced to a selection of vocabulary which forms one of the key areas of learning during the units. A strong focus is placed on speaking and listening activities in order to encourage children to develop their use of these subject-specific terms.
The History curriculum has been planned carefully based on key knowledge that children will learn during each unit. The curriculum map allows for progression as the units build on prior knowledge and aim to extend learning by acknowledging what children already know. Careful consideration is given to the school’s context and local area and the curriculum has been designed to link to this as far as possible. For example, History units linking to the Industrial Revolution in Greater Manchester and the work of the Manchester-based Suffragette movement. This should give children a sense of purpose with their learning and make the History and Geography curriculum relevant and relatable.
Throughout each unit, there is emphasis placed on enquiry. Using the questions as a stimulus, children are actively encouraged to investigate, research and find things out for themselves. We discuss this with the children using the language of, ‘becoming historical detectives’.
The process of enquiry follows this structure:
1.) Look at evidence
2.) Ask and answer questions
3.) Give your own idea – using this language: “maybe, perhaps, I think, possibly, I’d like to know, I wonder if, could, I’m beginning to think, I’m certain, my idea is, I’m not sure if…”
4.) Look at more evidence
5.) Develop fuller answers
Children then consider their ideas and opinions using the following scale:
History in the Early Years
More information to follow shortly.